Max Garcia has been named Week 4 NFLPA Community MVP for his ongoing devotion to the disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
When the Category 4 storm hit his native island on last month, knocking out power and cellphone service in its wake, the Denver Broncos offensive lineman went days without knowing whether his relatives were OK. After nearly a week, Garcia was able to connect with his family, including his grandfather, who passed away just a few days later.
The experience tugged on Garcia’s heart, spurring him and his family in Atlanta to partner with a local restaurant for a donation drive to help Puerto Rico. Tons of medicine, first-aid kits, water, diapers, sleeping bags and pet food were contributed and loaded into trucks. The goods were then brought to a Delta Cargo plane, which delivered everything on Oct. 2.
The third-year veteran also worked to raise awareness and more contributions for the island by establishing his own fundraising website (www.maxgarciaphilanthropy.com).
“I’m very humbled to receive this week’s NFLPA Community MVP,” Garcia said. “After a catastrophic hurricane stormed through my mother’s homeland, raising awareness on the disaster it left was crucial for me. Unfortunately, during the aftermath of the hurricane, my grandfather Don Felix Romero passed away — making my desire to help in the relief efforts all that more urgent.”
Ever since he entered the NFL, the Super Bowl champion has made a point to spread his influence and impact abroad. This past offseason, Garcia and his mother joined several other NFL players on a trip to the Dominican Republic to meet with and encourage victims of sex trafficking. The trip, which was coordinated in conjunction with International Justice Mission, renewed Garcia’s passion to leave his mark off the field.
“Raising awareness takes little action,” Garcia continued. “Sometimes just the click of a button will cause others to invest in an opportunity that otherwise may have been missed. Thank you NFLPA for this recognition.”
In honor of Garcia being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice along with an in-kind donation to him on behalf of our supporting partner Delta Private Jets. Garcia, along with the other 2017 Community MVPs, will also become eligible for this year’s Byron Whizzer White Award, which is the highest honour that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.